WE DID IT - VOLUNTEERS COMPLETE HOUSES IN GALENA, ALASKA
GOD IS GOOD!
100 days, 189 volunteers and 21,000+ volunteer hours later we will hand over the keys to all our houses in Galena today! All of the houses are complete with the exception of one window that required special handling. It will be installed by the State of Alaska when it arrives in Galena. The homeowners can begin moving in.
UMVIM Disaster Response Coordinator
PNW Conference United Methodist Church
WELCOME TO THE NEW UMVIM CONFERENCE COORDINATORS FOR
THE DESERT SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE
Bill Sanford and Chris Spencer served as the UMVIM Conference Coordinators for the Desert Southwest Conference and did an amazing job!!! UMVIM WJ would not be
the same withought their passionate efforts, experience, and skills over these last several years. We will miss them as part of the UMVIM WJ team and trust that God
will continue to use them in mighty ways.
UMVIM WJ welcomes Jen and Victor Hammond to the UMVIM WJ teams as the new UMVIM Conference Coordinators for the Desert Southwest Conference. We
look forward to serving with them. Please give them a shout out to say hello and welcome them aboard. Their contact information is:
Victor and Jen Hammond
Desert Southwest Conference
Victor – 520-424-6821
Jen – 520-431-9590
UPDATE ON SOUTH NAPA EARTHQUAKE
Thank you to all who have contact me and sorry for the delayed response. As you all know,
we had an earthquake here in Northern California early Sunday morning.
This 6.0 magnitude earthquake caused hundreds of injuries and extensive damage in Napa, CA. For all of us in our roles as volunteer leaders, we started thinking about how to help and if we might soon be putting together volunteer teams headed to Napa. At this time we do not expect to deploy any of our conference ERT volunteers or issue a request for any from outside the California-Nevada conference.
The hardest hit area was Napa and I accompanied Norm Harden, our conference
Disaster Response Coordinator, to Napa Sunday afternoon to get a first-hand view of the situation. The community had already rallied and cleanup was already well under way. Damage reports are still coming in and there over 100 buildings that were "red tagged", including First United Methodist Church in Napa. There is a lot of cleanup needed at this church but they are prepared to handle this locally themselves and do not at this time request we send any teams to help them. We have been in close contact with other pastors in the area and conference leadership and we do not know of any needs for volunteer help. We have also been in close contact with UMCOR and they are standby to respond in assistance.
There is a lot of repair and rebuilding work ahead, but it too early to know if there are future needs where volunteers for UMVIM teams might be appropriate.
EBOLA OUTBREAK AND INSURANCE FOR UMVIM TEAMS
As of August 25, UMVIM will no longer provide insurance to any volunteer or team going into any and all countries with active Ebola cases. According to the World Health Organization, in the last 5 months there have been 1,350 deaths due to the Ebola virus, which continues to spread in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, with 221 new cases reported just between August 17-19, and there are now cases as far south as Congo.
For several reasons, it has been difficult to control the spread of Ebola, including the increased disbelief of the people living in this region, and the lack of compliance with the advice of health workers and government sanctions, as they are in contradiction to many of their cultural practices. Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has imposed a nationwide curfew and quarantined communities, and many have retaliated with violence.
It is difficult to determine what will happen with the Ebola Outbreak and where it might spread. If there are any active cases in in the country prior to your departure time, we recommend rescheduling for a later date. When the time is right to plan mission travel into these countries again, here are a few suggestions of what to discuss with your team as you prepare to leave:
1. Discuss with your team what you would do if you were quarantined and whether the potential risk is worth what you can possibly wait and do later in 2015 after this disease has been controlled.
2. Discuss with your partners in West Africa what precautions are being made regarding the Ebola Outbreak for persons in your destination country and those coming into the country.
3. When you do go, please register with the U.S. State Department's STEP program and contact the Embassy directly in your destination country to let them know of your plans to bring a group of volunteers there. Provide them with where you will be and what you will be doing. Ask them if they have any advice regarding your travel there and what type of assistance could they provide if you encountered any problems.
4. Leave information with the church and someone who has connections perhaps with your US senator in case you were to need them to assist you.